It may as well be called Desperate Measures. The jolt of caffeine, the prickle of Coke, the slide of rum and the aromatherapy of the lemon slices.
The hour-long, standing trek on the A train yesterday evening, feeling my mother's genes in my lower back, wondering anew how she lives with back pain every day. It's only standing that does it to me, or very slow walking, or lifting heavy things - all easy to avoid - but we were well and truly rooted to one spot on the train.
After lying on the floor of the apartment for half an hour with legs up on a chair, as instructed by Shari, my mom's physiotherapist, I went up and watered the parched roof farm, talked to the cat who came to join me, watched the red ball of sun melt into the canopy of the ailanthus tree in the lots behind our block - the sun is moving slowly back south towards Governor's Island after creeping all the way up to Manhattan's southern tip at its height, just over a week ago - sipped the cold drink, felt water pooling and cool around my feet, and then come down to make a late-late salad with thinly sliced summer squash and a Caesar dressing shot through with garlic and an anchovy fillet or two.
Drugs of choice.